The digital editor of This Is Cornwall has posted an angry reply to a reader’s claims that their journalists spend too much time blogging and not enough time out on the streets reporting. He says:
“We have more reporters in every area across the county than anyone else, who work their hardest to bring more local news as it happens from their district offices. And online, we’re now uploading far more content than ever before.”
But, as someone very sensibly raised in the discussion after our presentation, what about people who don’t, for whatever, have access to the internet? A quick flick through any of the local papers shows that really, most of the news stories comes from obviously emailed press releases, fund-raising events and the odd police alert.
Having spent two extremely dispiriting weeks working for my local paper (which shall remain nameless), I can confirm that most local reporters spend all their time glued to their desks, only leaving the office to go for lunch at the pub next door. Only once was I asked to go out and vox for local opinion on a story. And this wasn’t a newspaper office based in the sticks, where it takes half an hour to get to civilisation; we were in a place with a population of 10,000.
The website for the paper now makes a big thing of having a weekly video round-up of all the local news on its website. Meanwhile, the content of the physical paper continues to go downhill.
Methinks Gareth Bartlett doth protest too much.